Now is the time for those in the Southeastern United States to check their preparations for hurricanes. Below is a list of steps I go through anytime there is a hint of a potential storm. These steps were derived from past experiences and lessons I have learned from other Survivalblog.com posts. I do this prep so as not to get caught up in panicked crowds on the days immediately preceding the storm. Should the storm not hit me directly I consider this prepping chance to practice and shore up my supplies.
7 Days Out
1) Water (1 or 5 gallon jugs) is purchased and any filter systems, storage systems and well pumps are checked.
2) Storage food is checked and additional food is purchased if necessary. During his phase any non-perishable food needed, including comfort food should is purchased.
3) Fuel Stores such as gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas, Coleman White fuel, kerosene are checked and topped off as needed.
4) Cooking fuels are checked and purchased as needed.
5) Battery stores are checked and additional batteries are purchased as needed.
6) Flashlights, lanterns and other alternative light sources are tested and batteries are replaced, fuel is added to each device as needed.
7) Alternative cooking devices are tested.
8) Radio communications are tested and made ready.
9) Storm shutters and fasteners are made ready for deployment.
10) Blackout curtains are located and made ready for use.
11) Generators – run on a load for 30 minutes, tanks are topped off and any maintenance need is completed.
12) First aid supplies – are checked and additional supplies are purchased as needed.
13) Double check prescriptions and fill if necessary.
14) Firearms (If you have them) are checked and cleaned and lubricated if necessary. Ammunition is checked and the amount needed for a possible event is moved from storage to an easily accessible, but secure location.
15) Daily used household items such as cleaners, soaps, tooth care; toilet paper etc. should be checked and purchased as necessary.
16) Start making Ice and have bags ready for when the container for the ice maker gets full.
17) G.O.O.D. packs are checked and replenished as needed.
18) Fuel tanks for vehicles from this point on are not allowed to go below ¾ths filled and as a normal procedure should not be allowed to go under ½ full.
19) Check vehicles for tire pressure, fluid levels, belt tensions, and any pending maintenance critical to the operation of the vehicle should be done at this time.
20) Communicate with your preparedness group, family and like-minded friends; discuss the possibility of implementing your preparedness plan assuming you have one.
1) Grocery store – last minute items and surprisingly perishable items such as fruits and vegetables that do not need refrigeration are purchased. The event may be short term and this will allow for one to two weeks of fresh fruits and vegetables before the need to move to dry and canned food.
2) Mail all bills due in the next 30 days if possible.
3) Start freezing water in 2 liter soda bottles. This will help freezers and refrigerators stay cool longer when the power goes out.
4) Have family or group meeting and discuss preparedness plans to include responsibilities for final preparations and survival responsibilities immediately after the event and contingency plans for when things go wrong.
5) Start consuming primarily refrigerated perishable food.
6) Assuming the garbage trucks are still running; make sure all trash is removed.
7) Any member of your family or group who has to work will need to place a survival pack in their vehicle, that should include 3 to 7 days of food and water and one or two Jerry can(s) of fuel if possible. If possible, preposition short term emergency supplies at the place of employment.
Experience has demonstrated the hordes of panicked people are beginning to start at this phase, but depending on the event and how the event is covered in the media, the hordes could potentially start earlier than expected; making some of the preparations at this stage more difficult to accomplish.
48 Hours Out
1) Impact shutters are installed, leaving one or two off on the back side of the house to allow natural light in. When shutters go up it gets dark and gloomy fast. The last few shutters can be installed right before the storm hits.
2) Loose objects outside of the home are secured or moved inside.
3) Rain gutters and downspouts are cleaned out.
4) Charge any remaining batteries and radios.
5) Data from computers is backed up and securely stored.
6) Paper records are secured.
7) Important personal items, such as family photos are secured.
8) Persons doing prep work in the immediate vicinity of the home should have a two way radio with them at all times, with someone in the home monitoring the radio. This is especially important for those living in rural areas with large amounts of property and when working a fair distance from the home.
9) One person at all times should be monitoring Radio, Internet and television news. Continue to monitoring these sources while available.
10 to 24 Hours Out
1) Any items still outside the home are secured.
2) Remaining storm shutters are installed.
3) Vehicles are moved to the garage or a secure location. Depending on the situation and location this step may be done sooner in the process.
4) Internal alternative light sources are made ready and strategically placed.
5) Food stores and water for the next 24-72 hours are made ready. Some perishable food for immediate use can be moved to coolers, which if properly packed and insulated will stay cool for two days. A layer of dry ice on the bottom of a cooler separated by a dish towel can keep items frozen for up to 4 days in the proper cooler)
6) Turn freezer refrigerator temps down). Get them as cold as possible without freezing the coils.
7) Turn air-conditioning down and get the house cool before the power goes out.
8) Entertainment such as games, books are located and made ready.
9) Charge laptops and cell phones.
10) Wash all dishes by hand.
11) Any remaining laundry is done (earlier in the 24-hours before landfall and well before the likelihood of power failures).
12) Depending on the water situation, sinks, bath tubs and containers should be filled with water and treated appropriately.
13) Move some frozen bottles to the refrigerator.
14) Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed (once the power goes out, It may be 12 hours or more before the generator can fired up).
3 Hours Out – (Power is Out )
1) Alternative lighting sources are activated.
2) All AC Powered lights and appliances, televisions, computers (except one lamp) are unplugged. The breaker for the HVAC unit and water heater is shut off. Leaving one light connected to the AC [utility power] and in the on mode will provide an indication when the power returns. Once power returns, lamps and appliances can be powered up gradually to avert the effects of a power surge. Those with standby generators will handle this step differently depending on how their backup system is designed.
3) If possible, use the remaining hot water; take a shower(s) assuming conditions warrant.
4) Once hot water is used, and if using a hot water tank, close the incoming water valve; a fresh supply of water is now available.
5) Activate the battery operated television or radio and monitor events.
6) Sleep when and if possible in rotating shifts.
7) If the situation warrants, move to a storm shelter or the most secure part of the house.
When prepping for a storm, I print the list and the items are checked off as they are completed. Doing so allows for a fast and efficient approach to prepping for a storm and helps to ensure nothing is forgotten. The list is tweaked as needed and steps are added and /or removed based on the perceived severity of the storm in my general area. Regards, – Florida Dave